Saturday, February 2, 2008

Counting in Tanii... Apatani numeral system 2


In a previous post an attempt was made to introduce the numeral system when counting abstractly, without a particular object in view. Here numbers will be considered when they are used for quantifying things, objects or animate beings. We have tried our best to organize this post in a comprehensible manner. We're not quite sure of the result however, so “please dear Tanii readers”, don’t hesitate to point out confusions or mistakes.



In Tanii the numeral always follows the noun
(whereas in Hindi or English it usually precedes the noun).

As a rule it is not possible simply to associate a numeral with a noun, as we do for eg. in English when we say “two cars”, “three bottles”. An appropriate compound form is required.

[There are very few exceptions where the noun can be followed directly by the numeral, eg. miyu kone (1 person, literally 'human/person-one'), ganda anye (2 places, lit. place-two) etc.]

How is this compounding form constructed ?

Here there are 2 possibilities :

- 1°) REDUPLICATION : the second syllable of the noun is reduplicated, and followed by the numeral (contracted form, see previous post).

Examples :

prefix
root
reduplicated rootnumeral (compound form)
a-
ki
ki-he/-yeaki kihe/kiye
(one dog)
pii-haha-nyepiiha hanye
(two baskets)
pa-chuchu-hinhepachu chuhinhe
(three chicken)
a-lolo-khiialo lokhii
(six days)


See for eg. the way dogs are counted in Tanii :

a-ki
ki-
he/ye
1 dog
a-ki .
ki-
nye
2 dogs
a-ki
ki-
hinhe .
3 dogs
a-ki
ki-
phe/pe
4 dogs
a-ki
ki-
ngo
5 dogs
a-ki
ki-
khe
6 dogs
a-ki
ki-kanuhe (or kukanuhe)
7 dogs
a-ki
ki-pinye
8 dogs
a-ki
ki-kowahe (or kukowahe) .(o(r ki
9 dogs
a-ki
ki-
lyanhe
10 dogs

- 2°) CLASSIFIER : in place of the reduplicated syllable, a monosyllabic word called "classifier" or "measure word" is inserted. The classifier follows the noun, and in turn is followed by the numeral. The selection of a particular classifier depends of the type of object considered, its shape, size, etc., as will be explained below.

Examples :

prefixrootclassifiernumeral
(compound form)

ta-
bu
so
-he

tabu sohe

(one snake)
a-labu-nye

ala bunye

(two hands)
su-budor-phesubu dorphe
(four mithuns)

These two constructions are exclusive. If a classifier is required, then it is not convenient to resort to reduplication. Reciprocally where replication is expected the use of a classifier becomes inappropriate. But the use of one of these two compounding forms is mandatory for counting ALL things or objects (except very few cases).


There are also 2 ways for counting in reference to a particular object, which slightly differ. The first one is used in enumeration only, for eg. when someones is mentally counting an object : 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... and so on. The second one is used in the general case, i.e. each time the numeral indicates a number of objects, or a number of units, especially in compouding forms using reduplicated roots or classifiers. The main difference between the two lies in the presence or absence of a suffixe (-he or -e) added to the numeral.

Thus, for counting humans :


Enumeration only .
Specifying a number
of objects or units

1 . .
kunako/ kone
2
anyianye
3
hinghinhe
4
piilyipiilye
5
yangoyangohe
6
khiikhiihe
7
kanukanuhe
8
pinyipinye
9
kowakowahe
10
alyanalyanhe

Or for counting rupees (tiiko, using the classifier bar-) :


Enumeration only .
Specifying a number
of objects or units

1 . .
barkunbare
2
barnyibarnye
3
barhinbarhinghe
4
barpibarphe
5
barngobarngohe
6
barkhiibarkhe
7
barkanubarkanuhe
8
barpinyibarpinye
9
barkowabarkowahe
10
barlyanbarlyanhe



Now let's have a closer look at the classifiers. Tanii, like all the languages of the Tani group, possesses a large inventory of classifiers. Classifiers never appear alone, but always associated to a number or a root of a noun. Similarly numbers rarely appear without being attached to a classifier or a root.

1°) Core classifiers :


Classifier
Type of objects

Examples

1
BAR1. round and flat objects; 2. months (in Tanii the same word, piilo, is used for denoting the 'moon' and the 'lunar month'; since the moon is considered as a round and flat object, so is the month)

tiiko bare = 1 rupee kiidi barnye = 2 plots of land

2
BU1 long cylindrical objects (eg. legs, trees, sticks, pillars, beams, bamboo stems, fingers, etc.); 2. hands; 3. spherical objects of rather big size, eg.bije buhe = 1 piece or stem of bamboo
ala bunye
= 2 hands
sanii buhinhe = 3 trees
lachi bungohe = 5 fingers
3
BYAflowers, roads

lena byaye (byahe) = 1 road

apu byanye = 2 flowers
4
BYARclothestarii byarnye = 2 shirts
5
CHANpots, pans, kitchen ustensils
change = 1 pan
6
DORfour legged animals, four wheel vehicles

subu dore = 1 mithun

gari dornye = 2 cars
7
GARpaddy fieldsaji gare = 1 paddy-field
8
GOmouths, words
agun gonye = 2 mouths, 2 words
9
HAsteps (of ladders, staircases, etc.)
haka hahe = 1 step
10
KObowls, banglespaka konye = 2 bowls
chanko kohe = one pan
11
LYO
types, kinds, varieties
agun lyohe/lyoye = 2 types of languages
12
NGObamboo groves, gardensbije ngonye = 2 bamboo groves
13
PEN1. houses: 2. verses of ayu (traditional song)

ude penge : 1 house

14
PO1. cylindrical objects, 2. yarns, threads, 3. tasks to be performed

hapo pohe/poye = 1 bucket
tano ponye
= 2 yarns
bottle pohinhe
= 3 bottles

15
PUspherical objects (of rather medium size, eg. fruits)tiinga punye = 2 lemons
16
PYAR1. small round objects (beads, particles of soil, etc.); 2. plots of land tasang pyarhinghe = 3 beads
17
RONseasons, generations, doses, time, fold, etc.diitun ronge = 1 dose
ronye = twice
myodu romphe = 4 seasons
18
SOelongated and slender things

dimu soye = 1 hair
ngihi sonye = 2 fishes
tabu sohinhe = 3 snakes
taru sophe = 4 ropes

19
TAflat and thin objects, materials : papers, etc.

yanii tahe/taye = 1 leaf

pota tanye = 2 sheets of paper
kheta (kitab) tangohe = 5 books
20
U
1. times (as number of actions performed at one given occasion); 2. holes (in a cloth)
ubu unye = 2 holes (in a cloth)


Note the irregularity of the construction for ‘one’, which varies according to the classifier :

BYA, CHAN, GO, RONBAR, BYAR, DOR, GAR, PYARBU, KO, PO, PU, SO, TA

byange
cha
nge
gonge
penge

ronge

bare
byare
dore
gare

pyare

buhe/ buye
kohe/ ko
ye
po
he/poye
puhe/pu
ye
so
he/soye

tahe/taye




Other numerals are regular.

2°) Others

In addition to these clore classifiers, there are other sets of "measure words" that are used for counting in the very much same way as classifiers, although the range of application for each is usually much more limited. These are words denoting : 1. Quantities from containers; 2. Collections or arrangements of objects; 3. Measures (of space, time, weight, etc.).

a) containers

These can be called ‘containers classifiers’. Originally they are nouns denoting types of containers, whose second syllable serves to quantify units of amount that they hold. For example TUR, from turla (mug) is used to count small volumes of water or beer contained in small receptacles (mugs, cups, ...).

Classifier
Original noun
Objects countedExample
DUsudu = bamboo container
liquid units contained in various types of bamboo containers

GII
yagii = basket
traditional units for evaluating yields of paddy-fields (eq. to about 35 kgs)
yagii giihe/giiye = 1 basket unit
KUpaku = plate
plates (as quantities)
paku kunye = 2 plates
JUyaju = rice or millet beer ladlemeasures of liquid contained in one ladle (yaju)
o juhinhe = 3 ladles of beer
PAR
yaper = mortar
measures of flour/paste contained in one mortar (yaper)
pare = 1 mortar (as quantity)
TURturla = mugmeasures of liquid contained in one mug (turla) or cupture = one (mug, cup, etc.)

Again, note the irregular forms for 'one' : ture, change, duhe/duye

Note also the difference between :
  • punyu sohinhe : 3 spoons counted as collection of objects
  • punyu nyuhinhe : 3 spoons counted as quantities = 3 spoonfuls


b) collections, arrangements

These are used to denote collections of one particular arrangement of the same object.

Classifier
Original noun
Collection/Arrangement type
Example
HORhorto (tano horto = yarn thread)
sheaves/bundles of threadtano hornye = two sheaves of thread
KHOyakho = small sticksticksyakho khohe/khoye = one stick
NGAanga = sheafbundles, sheaves
apu ngaye = 1 bundle of flowers
PYU

unknownbunches (eg. of keys)sabe pyunge = 1 bunch/bundle of keys
RAyara = cane basket made used by males for fetching firewood
bundles (esp. of firewood)yasan rahinghe = 3 bundles of firewood
RII
(bije) arii = meaning unknown
bundles (esp. of bamboo)bije riihe/riiye = one bundle of bamboos
TO
unknown
team, flock, group
piita tonge = a flock of birds
YOR
possibly yorgan = mountain range or ridge
row (eg. fences)
yorgan yore = one mountain range
narun yornye = two rows of bamboo fence


c) measures
These are words expressing various units of length, size, weight, time... A few examples are given below :

Classifier
Original noun
Unit
Example
DA
possibly dalin = to walk (out)
steps
dahe/daye = one step (by walking)
Ipossibly iche = night gap
nightsinye = 2 nights
LO
alo = daydayslohinhe = 3 days
TU
turla = bamboo mug
turla (which contains
approximately one liter
and is taken as a rough
measure for one kilogram
tuhe, tungo = 1kg, 5 kgs


Adjectives indicating big/small, wide/narrow, large, etc. can also be expressed by means of classifiers. In place of a numeral, a classifier can be followed by two adjectives only, –ro and –nyo. –ro can be roughly considered as meaning “big/large” in terms of size, volume or quantity, and –nyo, which is the antonym, as small, also in terms of in terms of size, volume or quantity. But being combined with classifiers, their specific meaning depends in fact of the category considered. Thus buro which applies to spherical objects means ‘big’. But soro applying to long, slender objects means ‘long’, and taro applying to flat and thin objects means wide.
Similarly, bunyo means ‘small’, sonyo ‘short’, and tanyo when applied to certain objects can mean 'narrow', eg. lena tanyo = narrow road (as opposed to lena taro = large/wide road).

Similarly, note the difference between :
  • Tabu soro doke : the snake is long
  • Tabu buro doke : the snake is big

2 comments:

mamung said...

a very informative blog. as a linguistic student my interest has grown more deeper in the realm of apatani language....there are still so many things unknown,and this effort by u is really worth admiration....gud goin..

NPR said...

@Mamung,
Thanks dear!!!

Looking forward for your contributions in preserving Tanii agung. May god bless you!!!